Question: There is an unhealthy correlation between the building of skyscrapers

“There is an ‘unhealthy correlation’ between the building of skyscrapers and subsequent financial crashes,” according to Barclays Capital. Examples include: the world’s first skyscraper, the Equitable Life building in New York (completed in 1873 and coincided with a five-year recession), the Empire State building (the Great Depression was under way), Chicago’s Willis Tower—formerly known as the Sears Tower—in 1974 (during an oil shock and when the U.S. dollar’s reliance on gold was abandoned), and Malaysia’s Petronas Towers in 1997 (corresponding to the Asian financial crisis). Currently, the world’s tallest skyscraper is the Burj Khalifa (built just before Dubai’s financial troubles).

China is the biggest builder of skyscrapers, with 53 percent of all the tall buildings in the world. JPMorgan Chase said that the Chinese property market could drop by as much as 20 percent in value in the country’s major cities within the next 12 to 18 months. “Often the world’s tallest buildings are . . . [a reflection of] a widespread misallocation of capital and an impending economic correction,” Barclays Capital analysts said.

Examine the correlational finding and provide plausible alternatives for their findings.

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  • CreatedSeptember 17, 2014
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